Migrating birds falling victim to red tide

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As red tide persists along several Bay Area beaches, animals continue to suffer.

While many have learned to stay away from fish kills, others are just now discovering the dangers.

Wildlife rescue groups are reporting an influx in sick birds that recently migrated south for the winter.

"They don't know that the floating fish, the dead floating fish is bad for them," said Shelley Vickery, who runs Birds in Helping Hands. "They've migrated, they're hungry, they're tired, they see these floating fish, they're going to eat them."

Double-breasted cormorants are being rescued and treated at Birds in Helping Hands and other local rescue centers.

According to wildlife experts, if the birds are acting out of character, they are most likely sick because of red tide.

Symptoms include walking clumsily, allowing humans to walk right up to them, and sometimes falling in mid-flight.

Treatment usually lasts about a week and the birds are released back into the wild. But at the rate they are being rescued, concerns loom over how long the problem will last.

"This has only been a couple of weeks and we have all winter," said Vickery. "We're going to be going through this for a while."